Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder, Colorado

Introduction to Boulder, Colorado

The Colorado city of Boulder is the county seat of Boulder County and also the county's largest city. Perched at an elevation of 5,400 feet above sea-level, the city is located 30 miles northwest of the Colorado state capital of Denver. Boulder is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state's largest university.

Until the late 1850's, the Boulder Valley was inhabited by Indians, primarily the Southern Arapaho tribe. The first known non-native settlers in the area were gold prospectors who arrived in 1858, when Boulder was still part of the Nebraska Territory. In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was created by the U.S. Congress and in 1871 Boulder (then known as Boulder City) was incorporated as a city. Five years later the University of Colorado at Boulder opened and in that same year (1876) Colorado achieved its statehood. Through the early part of the 20th century, mining and tourism were two of the city's principal industries. Later years saw a different kind of industry with the arrival of the National Bureau of Standards (which today is the National Institute of Standards and Technology, home of the atomic clock) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In 1996, the city received notoriety as the locale of the still unsolved mystery of the killing of six-year-old JonBen't Ramsey.

Boulder is often cited as one of the nation's most desirable places to live. The city's natural beauty, abundant recreational options, and lively cultural atmosphere are just a few reasons why. In the year 2006 alone, Boulder received accolades from over 20 national publications for being among the top cities in various categories. Some examples:

  • "Best Cities For Singles" (Ranked #1) Forbes Magazine, July 2006
  • "Best Places to Retire in Style" (Ranked #1) Fortune Magazine, June 2006
  • "Top Biking City" Bicycling Magazine, March 2006
  • "Dream Towns" (Ranked #1) Outside Magazine, Aug. 2006
  • "Best City for Teleworking" (Ranked #1 in small metro area list) Sperling's BestPlaces research firm, March 2006
  • "50 Best places to live" (Ranked #3) Men's Journal, April 2006
  • "America's Top 100 Places to Live in 2006" (Ranked #3) Relocate-America.com, March 2006
  • "Top 10 Brainiest Small Cities" (Ranked #3) Bizjournals.com, June 2006
  • "Place you dream of living" Backpacker Magazine, February 2006

Things to do in Boulder

The city of Boulder is replete with activities and attractions of all kinds: indoor, outdoor, recreational, festive, cultural, you name it. With the possible exception of surfers, outdoor recreation lovers will always find something to do here. To begin with, the city is surrounded by more than 31,000 acres of recreational open space and nature preserves, providing abundant opportunities for biking, hiking and rock climbing. Over 120 miles of trails vary in size and difficulty, from the simple to the technically challenging. The Boulder Creek Path is a 16-mile trail perfect for walking, biking, or in-line skating. World-class rock climbing can be found in nearby Eldorado Canyon, six miles south of Boulder. Only an hour away is Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Two of Boulder's annual events focus on outdoor recreation. the "Bolder Boulder" is a 10K road race held every on Memorial Day which draws up to 50,000 runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair racers. "Kinetics" is an annual race across land and water by human-powered vehicles, held every year to mark the beginning of spring. Another yearly event (held on Memorial Day in conjunction with Bolder Boulder) is the Boulder Creek Fest, which features art, music, food, and local dance troupes.

Arts and culture are not lacking in Boulder either. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is held every summer at the outdoor Mary Rippon Theater on the University of Colorado campus. Also on the University campus is the Colorado MahlerFest, an annual celebration honoring Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, held every January. On Thursday nights in the summer, "Bands on the Bricks" features street musicians performing a wide variety of musical styles. One of the top comprehensive university museums of natural history in the nation is the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. Located on the University campus, the museum contains over four million anthropology, biology, and geology/paleontology research specimens. Exhibits include fossils, animals native to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region, and ancient Southwestern cultures. Other cultural venues in the city include the following:

  • Colorado Academy of Art
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Boulder History Museum
  • Leanin' Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art
  • University of Colorado Heritage Center
  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Fiske Planetarium / Sommer Bausch Observatory
  • Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center

Other attractions in and around Boulder include the Farmers' Market, open twice weekly April through October in the downtown area; the Gateway Park Fun Center, offering go-karts, mini-golf, and batting cages: and several area wineries.

Spectator sports in Boulder focus on collegiate action, with the University of Colorado Buffaloes located in the city. The Buffaloes play in the NCAA’s Division I (I-A for football) as members of the Big 12 Conference. The football team shared a national championship in 1990, and the University's teams have won national championships in cross country, cycling, triathlon, and skiing. Professional sports can be found in nearby Denver, only a half-hour away. Major league teams that play there include the following:

  • Major League Baseball: Colorado Rockies
  • National Football League: Denver Broncos
  • National Basketball Association: Denver Nuggets
  • National Hockey League: Colorado Avalanche
  • Major League Soccer (MLS): Colorado Rapids
  • National Lacrosse League (NLL): Colorado Mammoth

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High Points

Boulder strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Colorado):

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Boulder Walking and Biking to Work
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Boulder College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. State)
Top 7% Boulder Well-Paid Single Women
Public Transportation Use
(vs. State)
Top 7% Boulder Public Transportation Use
Median Family Income
(vs. State)
Top 10% Boulder Median Family Income
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 13% Boulder Racial Diversity
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 16% Boulder Well-Paid Single Men

Comparative Profile of Boulder, Colorado

Comparing Boulder to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Colorado (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 10 9
Well-Paid Single Men 9 9
Well-Paid Single Women 8 10
Racial Diversity 5 9
Senior Citizens 2 4
Age of the Population 2 1
Female Share of the Population 1 3
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 1 2
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 8 10
People in Middle Class or Better 4 5
People Above Poverty 3 2

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Working at Home 10 8
Public Transportation Use 9 10
Short Commute Times 8 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 9 8
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 9 10
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 8 5
Housing Recently Built 6 5
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 1
Affordability of Rents 3 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 8 7
Low Property Crime 5 5

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Boulder Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 24 miles NW of Denver, Colorado
County Boulder
Standard Zip Codes 80301, 80302, 80303, 80304, 80305
P.O. Box Zip Codes 80306, 80307, 80308
Company Zip Codes 80309, 80310, 80314, 80321, 80322, 80323, 80328, 80329
Phone Area Codes 303
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.015
Longitude -105.27

Boulder Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.1 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 46 F
Apr Temp 34 to 63 F
Jul Temp 56 to 87 F
Oct Temp 37 to 67 F
Annual Precip 19.9 inches
Distance 15 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 42 F
Apr Temp 32 to 62 F
Jul Temp 55 to 89 F
Oct Temp 33 to 67 F
Annual Precip 14.1 inches
Distance 20.1 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 44 F
Apr Temp 30 to 59 F
Jul Temp 55 to 86 F
Oct Temp 32 to 65 F
Annual Precip 17 inches
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Boulder Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 94,673 100%
Male 48,895 51.6%
Female 45,778 48.4%
Under 18 14,042 14.8%
18+ 80,631 85.2%
65+ 7,391 7.8%
Median Age 29
Average Family Size 2.84
White 83,627 88.3%
African-American 1,154 1.2%
Asian 3,806 4%
American Indian & Alaskan 450 0.5%
Other 3,318 3.5%
Mixed Race 2,270 2.4%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 7,801 8.2%

Estimated Boulder Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 91,685
Growth -2,988
Growth % -3.2%

Boulder Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 18%
German 16.1%
English 11.2%
Irish 10.8%
Italian 5.4%
US/American 3.5%
Scottish 3.2%
Polish 2.7%
European 2.7%
Norwegian 2.7%
Russian 2.6%
Scotch-Irish 2.6%
Swedish 2.4%
French (except Basque) 2.2%
Dutch 1.2%
British 1.2%
Danish 0.8%
Eastern European 0.7%
Welsh 0.7%
French Canadian 0.7%
Hungarian 0.6%
Swiss 0.6%
Austrian 0.5%
Greek 0.5%
Lithuanian 0.4%
Northern European 0.4%
Ukrainian 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
Czech 0.4%
Finnish 0.3%
Scandinavian 0.3%
Other Arab 0.2%
Croatian 0.2%
Portuguese 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Iranian 0.2%
Armenian 0.2%
Belgian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Boulder 94,673 $70,257
Broomfield 38,272 $70,551
Jamestown 205 $73,250
Lafayette 23,197 $64,088
Louisville 18,937 $81,512
Nederland 1,394 $60,893
Superior 9,011 $92,543

Boulder Public Libraries

Boulder Public Library
Boulder, Colorado
(303) 441-3100
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Boulder Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(303) 440-2273
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Boulder

(As of 2005)
28th & Pearl - Boulder
2770 Pearl Street
30th & Arapahoe
3033 Arapahoe
Pearl St. Mall
1427 Pearl Street
3325 28th St
2798 Arapahoe Ave
4800 E Baseline Road
Target Boulder T-64
2800 Pearl St
University and Broadway
1402 Broadway
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Penn Foster College

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  • Programs: Veterinary Technician (Associate)
  • Degrees: Associate
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Aurora, Westminster

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Simmons’ online Master of Public Health program, MPH@Simmons, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. The MPH@Simmons program explores the core areas of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health services, environmental health, and social/behavioral health. Additionally, the practice-based curriculum incorporates courses specifically designed to help you develop leadership and advocacy skills.

  • Programs: Master of Public Health
  • Degrees: Master

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

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  • Degrees: Master, Associate, Bachelor
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Boulder High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,931 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

Serves 1,887 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.2

Serves 334 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.2

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 282 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.4

A Charter School.
Serves 91 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.2

A Special Education School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 15 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.3

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Ann Arbor, Michigan 93.5   35.4% 7.9% 69.3% 20 $71,293 5% 25.3% 114,024 16.6% 27.2 0.5% 2.3
2. Corvallis, Oregon 92.2   31.9% 10.1% 53.1% 16 $53,208 4.9% 14% 49,322 20.6% 41 0.3% 1.7
3. Bloomington, Indiana 91.9   39% 7.9% 54.8% 16 $50,054 4.1% 13% 69,291 29.6% 36 0.6% 2.1
4. State College, Pennsylvania 91.8   33.4% 5.8% 69.2% 15 $54,949 1.8% 15.7% 38,420 46.9% 24.9 0.7% 1.3
5. Eugene, Oregon 90   31.7% 12.1% 37.3% 18 $48,527 5.3% 11.9% 137,893 17.1% 63.4 0.4% 2.9
6. Bellingham, Washington 88.8   33.4% 12.4% 33% 18 $47,196 5.2% 12.1% 67,171 20.6% 87.5 0.5% 2.7
7. Golden, Colorado 87.2   30.6% 8% 46.3% 25 $67,414 5.7% 9.3% 17,159 11.3% 34.1 0.4% 1.3
8. Durango, Colorado 85.8   30.9% 10.7% 43% 15 $50,814 3.7% 13.2% 13,922 17.2% 59.3 1.7% 2.7
9. Auburn, Alabama 84.6   36.6% 6.4% 56% 17 $55,619 4.1% 21.9% 42,987 38.1% 49.3 0.5% 3.4
10. Boone, North Carolina 84.5   39.6% 7.1% 46.5% 13 $49,762 1.4% 6% 13,472 37% 28.1 1.9% 1.5
11. Norman, Oklahoma 84   30.4% 9% 39.8% 22 $51,189 5.9% 17.6% 95,694 15.1% 34.3 0.4% 1.9
12. Clemson, South Carolina 83.1   28.5% 12.7% 58.2% 18 $61,176 3.5% 19% 11,939 33.1% 26 0.6% 3.9
13. Eau Claire, Wisconsin 81.4   29.8% 11.9% 28.9% 16 $49,320 5.8% 6.6% 61,704 13.6% 37.1 0.3% 3
14. Oshkosh, Wisconsin 79.8   32.4% 13.1% 23.1% 17 $48,843 5.4% 7.3% 62,916 10.2% 31.9 0.4% 2.3
15. Fredonia, New York 79.1   29.9% 11.7% 33.2% 15 $49,549 3.4% 3.6% 10,706 19% 25.8 0.6% 1.3
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